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“I don’t need virus protection – I’m a Mac user!” I hear you cry. Uh-oh… this is a common misconception - and a very dangerous one at that. Where does this myth come from?
Well, back in the day, it was largely true. You could indeed own a Mac and not have to worry about getting viruses. Because almost everyone owned Microsoft products, hackers and cybercriminals concentrated on developing malware that would exploit specific vulnerabilities in these operating systems. Lucky old Mac users simply weren’t big enough fish to fry.
That’s just not the case anymore. Today it’s very important to have an antivirus for mac and other Apple devices, tablets and mobile devices. Macs are now enormously popular – and that makes them a target for viruses and other forms of malware. While Apple is very security-conscious and its operating systems tend to be harder to infiltrate than Windows ones, they are certainly not immune.
To avoid getting caught out, it’s important to invest in a comprehensive antivirus package or internet security suite to keep your MacBook or Mac OS X device malware-free.
This virus protection should be designed to tick along in the background, allowing both for manual and real-time scans, while keeping your computer safe from all the usual suspects: viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and other forms of malware.
Ideally, you should choose a system that also provides plenty of privacy and security features such as two-way firewalls, social media protection and, if you have kids, plenty of parental controls.
When it comes to the specifics, there is a range of options for internet security for Mac. Just like their Windows-centered counterparts, these vary in price and quality.
To start with, there are free options available. While there are fewer decent free antivirus tools available for Mac than for windows, you can get antivirus Mac free. Then there are the much better paid and premium services, which you can typically purchase by annual subscription and download directly from the vendor’s website to your Mac.
The best Mac antivirus software provides superb protection for any type of computer and can be managed from a central dashboard. Again, bear in mind that not all internet security companies provide antivirus for Mac, though.
Although Mac devices are still relatively new to viruses, they are proliferating fast and it’s essential to ensure you’re thoroughly protected. What’s more, if you shop, stream video or bank online, especially using public Wi-Fi, you are vulnerable to hacks and identity theft no matter what device you use.
To get the most out of your Mac antivirus software, run scans at least once per week, especially if you frequently browse the web. Even better, keep the program’s shields running in the background at all times so that your computer is thoroughly protected. The best Mac antivirus programs can do this without slowing you down. In fact, some even offer performance-enhancing tools to keep your machine running in tip-top condition.
If you have more devices to cover and want to expand beyond Mac only, view the top antivirus providers here.
With two decades of experience, Intego has the level of expertise you’d expect when it comes to protecting Macs. Their Windows program offers many of the same features and for a reasonable price for protection for up to five PCs. The company also provides some of the most extensive tools for protecting children online.
McAfee is one of the biggest and most trusted names in antivirus software. McAfee provides secure total protection for your computer and devices. No matter which package you choose you will have access to free 24/7 support, parental controls and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
When you spend a little more for the internet security and total protection packages, you get anti-malware, anti-theft and file protection for any Mac, Windows or Android device. You can also opt for parental controls, anti-spam to block dangerous emails and the True Key app to store your passwords and usernames.
Norton gives you easy-to-use protection with in-depth parental controls. Depending on the package, Norton Security includes full antivirus protection, firewall protection, identity and financial protection, parental controls, email and spam blocking, password manager, PC optimization tools and 25 GB online backup storage for up to 10 computers or devices.
When it comes to virus protection, while the Norton Security's detection rates may leave something to be desired, the solid parental controls and ease of use make it a great choice for users looking for average virus detection coupled with top of the line parental controls for their family.